William Hague: 'No repatriation of powers from EU'
Sunday 16 October 2011
There is no "immediate prospect" of repatriating powers from the European Union (EU), William Hague said today.
The Foreign Secretary insisted he had "not gone soft and will never go soft on Europe".
However he said the Government's priority had to be ensuring the eurozone was stabilised without damaging Britain's interests.
"The repatriation of powers, which is something I support by the way, is not an immediate prospect because no countries are proposing widespread treaty change," Mr Hague told the BBC's Andrew Marr show.
"That may change, but at the moment, that is not what they are proposing...
"Britain's opportunity to these kinds of issues comes if there is a major change in the European treaties and the other nations need our cooperation in order to do that."
He went on: "Our priority is for the eurozone to be stabilised and at the same time to protect the British national interest."
Chancellor George Osborne warned eurozone leaders yesterday that they needed to take "impressive" action to get a grip on the crisis wracking the global economy.
The EU summit in Brussels next weekend will be a crucial moment in finding a "solution" to the problems, he said.
Speaking after a meeting of G20 finance ministers, Mr Osborne also indicated that Britain would be open to providing more money to the International Monetary Fund - but not if it was only used to prop up the struggling single currency area.
The eurozone has set up a European financial stability facility (EFSF) worth 440 billion euro (£384 billion).
However many economists believe a fund of around two trillion euro (£1.75 trillion) will be needed fully to reassure anxious investors that banks would survive defaults by heavily indebted countries such as Greece and Italy.
Final decisions are not likely to be taken until the main G20 meeting in Cannes next month.
However, there are hopes that the EU summit on October 23 will make significant progress on expanding the EFSF, as well as hammering out plans for a major write-down of Greek debt and a re-capitalisation of weaker banks.
- 1 Frank Lampard's face drops when Holly Willoughby introduces him as a 'Man City legend'
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 The Visit: Trailer for M Night Shyamalan's latest horror film is terrifying
- 5 9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Tories sack candidate who said she would never support 'the Jew' Ed Miliband
9/11: Iranian General accuses US of organising September 11 terror attacks
General Election 2015: Stephen Hawking says he will vote Labour
Manny Pacquiao begs Indonesia president to spare life of drug smuggler Mary Jane Veloso about to be executed
Yazidi sex slaves undergoing surgery to 'restore virginity' after being raped by Isis militants
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
Andrew Lloyd Webber: Phantom of the Opera writer mocked after issuing a warning about Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon
General election 2015: Labour will toughen hate crimes legislation surrounding Islamophobia
HSBC review into moving headquarters from UK 'underway'
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...